Manny Pacquiao’s basketball team drafts Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao is a boxing champion, Philippines congressman and a professional basketball coach.
So forgive him if he lacks time to research. Named the coach of Kia Motors’ team in the Philippine Basketball Assn. in June, Pacquiao might not have been able to scour the country for talent in preparation for the league’s draft two months later.
No need to worry. Turns out the best player available when Kia Motors’ selection rolled around during Sunday’s draft was right under the team’s nose.
That’s right. With the 10th overall pick in the 2014 Philippine Basketball Assn. rookie draft, Kia Motors selected its coach. Apparently, the plan all along was for Pacquiao to serve as a player-coach, but he needed to go through the draft in order to make that happen.
Think how awkward it would have been if another team had selected him before his own had a chance.
Continuing to focus on the familiar, Kia Motors went on to select its coach’s cousin, Rene Pacquiao, in the third round. Rene played at Southwestern University of Cebu and spent time in the Philippines’ D-League.
Pacquiao, however, didn’t make the actual picks.
He was promoting his Nov. 22 title fight against Chris Algieri.
Heavyweight fight postponed
Wladimir Klitschko’s Sept. 6 heavyweight title fight against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev was postponed after Klitschko suffered a torn biceps muscle during a sparring session.
Klitschko’s management said the champion would miss four weeks of training. A new date for the fight has not been announced. It will probably take place in Hamburg, Germany, the original venue. Klitschko was injured at his training camp in Austria.
The fight is likely to be held before the end of the year, according to Klitschko’s management.
In a statement, Klitschko said he was “very disappointed” by the postponement because he was “absolutely in top form” and had a “great training camp.” He also apologized to Pulev for the delay.
Johnny Ortiz service
A funeral service for boxer Johnny Ortiz will be held Sept. 3 at 11:30 a.m. at the All Souls Cemetery and Mausoleum, 4400 Cherry Ave., in Long Beach. A wake will follow at Phil Trani’s restaurant in Long Beach. Ortiz, a fighter, training, manager and boxing historian, died Aug. 9 after a long battle with cancer. He was 79.
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